News Release

Aon WorldAware Issues Travel Warning

Ten Northern Districts in Uganda Report an Outbreak of Malaria

Aon South Africa has issued travel warnings to its clients via its WorldAware operations centre regarding an outbreak of malaria in the northern parts of Uganda. The districts affected include: Lamwo, Gulu, Kitgum, Oyam, Ayam, Agago, Pader, Moyo, Apac, Amuru, Kole, Mwoyo and Kitgum, with 5,382 reported cases. The cause of the outbreak is believed to be as a result of the cessation of Indoor Residue Spraying (IRS) that took place in the affected areas last year.

The Director of General Health Services in Uganda, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, announced several measures that are being taken by the Ministry of Health, including the provision of health workers, laboratory technicians and sensitisation groups to reduce the prevalence of malaria in the districts.

Andre Van Tonder from Aon Sub Sahara Africa's Crisis Management Team advises travellers in malaria-infected countries to acquire all routine vaccinations prior to departure, and urges travellers to be up to date. This includes diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles mumps rubella, chicken pox and influenza. Additional recommended vaccinations include typhoid, hepatitis a, hepatitis b and rabies.

"Travelers are advised to take steps to prevent mosquito bites by using an effective insect repellent and by wearing light-coloured clothes that cover arms, legs and feet, as much as is practical. Also consider sleeping under a mosquito net," suggests Andre. "Discuss malaria preventative medications with your travel medicine consultant, and it is highly advisable to carry standby emergency treatment."

Aon's WorldAware Operations Centre in Johannesburg supports its principle WorldAware Operations Centre in Chicago. The aim is to supply Aon WorldAware clients with more regional specific information around Sub-Saharan African countries in addition to conducting risk assessments and travel risk related research and analysis.

"It is more important than ever for traveling employees to arm themselves with knowledge in advance of their trips in order to be prepared for any eventuality – from a kidnapping to an earthquake or tsunami such as the one experienced in Japan which cut off all communication with the outside world, through to a health crisis. Even the prospect of an employee experiencing a heart attack or contracting a life-threatening illness in a remote area far from medical facilities needs to be properly planned for," adds Andre.

Aon's WorldAware Solutions provides travel risk analysis, safe travel policies, training and awareness, risk managed travel and incident response, incorporating the management of travel risk exposure into one system that wraps around existing insurance policies and relationships.

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